a woman's hands around a sparkler

Kismet, but wordier

Have you ever met someone whose literary taste align so perfectly with yours that it feels like fate brought you together? Their favourite books are already on your top ten list, their podcast recommendations tickle your fancy, your must-read authors are warmly welcomed on their to-read list.

That’s ‘litmet’ in action!

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Faded white roses laying on loose pages from books

In nature, nothing is perfect and everything is perfect

Notes from the September Literati Meeting

We met to talk about ‘Nature’ as a theme in the glittering world of literature in a quiet corner of a sprawling urban garden. Against a leafy backdrop, our discussion flowed from science fiction with generations of environmental evolution to pastoral admirations of rural life and on to the natural (and inevitable) state of death. We inevitable brought up pandemic-related words and touched on the otherworldliness of the natural world.

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Woman with backpack looking at books on jumbled shelves

Chronicling coming of age

Notes from the May Literati meeting

In our online Impromptue Literati discussion about all things literary related to ‘Coming of age,’ we talked a lot about what that phrase means. Do we only ‘come of age’ as we move from childhood to being an adult? What about the major shifts of becoming a parent, losing a parent, getting married, coming out or ending a relationship? Do we not grow into another version of ourselves when we move to a new place, start or complete an education, change careers?

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On men writing women

Perspectives from the March Literati meeting

I was a little worried that taking our March Literati meeting online would limit the wide and varied discussion of our book-ish club, but the screen-based format couldn’t hold us back! With a focus on male authors writing female characters, we shared some examples well-written, fully fleshed out ladies in literature along with a handful of way-less-than-good ones. And, of course, we got a little off topic and talked about other books, podcasts, and films that sparked our interest.

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A dark, winter scene of a blazing fireplace

The season of hygge

My three winters in Copenhagen taught me the true value of hygge for coping with the long winter nights. A pop culture buzzword a few years ago, the Danish concept of hygge is hard to translate, despite many books valiantly making the attempt. The literal rendering of the word is being cozy, but the Danes embrace hygge as much more than woolly sweaters and an Instagramable wood fire. It’s about creating a sense of happiness and belonging, feeling content and safe and comfortable.

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Women reading and writing on an outdoor table

Introducing Impromptue Literati

Like many of the women I’ve met at the monthly Impromptue stammtisches, I love reading and writing and discussing those two pursuits—seemingly making a regular book club a great fit. But historically I’ve failed with book clubs. I was even asked (nicely) to leave one because I kept either giving up on the assigned materials or not bothering to read them at all.

The perfect solution is a looser approach. Rather than committing to a regimented schedule of monthly meetings with assigned books, what about something less rigid that fits with Impromptue’s aim to encourage women from all backgrounds to meet, exchange, and learn from each other? Our take on a book club—which we’re calling Impromptue Literati—will get together about six times a year for a discussion about anything language- or word-related—and ideally created by women.

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